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BigDaveZJ
06-14-2010, 11:42 PM
Thought I got this going the other day, but I guess not.

Not really talking about "someone's stuck, let's get them up this ledge" kinda stuff, but legit trail rescues. I.E. getting Pat off Moab Rim with a dead rig. We're not here to second guess anybody's decisions that day at all. If I had to pick someone to get my dead rig off Moab Rim Tyler would be one of my first choices. For most of us, recovery of a rolled rig would fall in to the rescue category as well. Very few of us on here could roll (roll, not flop) our rigs and not have it put a major dent in our day.

I think the best way to keep an active discussion on this is to present scenarios that we have encountered, and then we can talk about different ways to handle the situation.

GSW has been the host to several trail rescues, so I'll throw out some scenarios we've encountered at GSW for rescues and we can talk about what was done, and also share additional ideas.

Scenario 1
Moab Rim 2010. ZJ completely dead. Ended up being a dead fuel pump, but I believe they tried replacing it once on the trail and it didn't work, but a 2nd pump did. Rig has manual brakes, manual steering, no throttle. Trail has some tippy spots heading out, and is near the edge of a cliff. How do you get it back to the parking lot/trailer?

Scenario 2
Moab Rim 2010 Part Deux. Full bodied rig with no cage does 1.25 roll. Luckily all passengers are okay. What steps do you go through to get it running again and off the trail?

Scenario 3
Rusty Nail 2005. Steering box mounting ears snap, box comes off the unibody with such force it destroys the power steering pump as well. Rig is several miles of technical trail and several miles of smooth trail away from pavement. How do you get him off the trail?



Please add scenarios you guys have encountered on the trails as well. The more unique situations we talk about, the more we will all learn.

ArloGuthroJeep
06-15-2010, 12:17 AM
Hyrdo-assist - high-steer ARP bolts sheered off. Two of the three are sheered off in the knuckle below the surface. Top (end) of a hard trail (Blanca Peak)...Spring over prevented us from connecting the drag link back to the knuckle.

http://arlojeep.com/Trip-Reports/Blanca-7-17-09/Weberized/IMG_2906_resize.JPG

Cody
06-15-2010, 02:13 PM
I know the solution to all 3 ;)

In the first situation I probably wouldn't have tried to daisy chain the disabled rig down that particular trail--but hind site is 20/20. I don't think that was a bad call and I'm sure it was a decision that was mutually agreed upon by the involved parties, but with the proximity to town and available cell service I would probably have sent a parts runner into town while the more savvy mechanics worked on diagnosing the problem. That's just a bad trail to try and bring a dead rig through, especially (no offense intended) with a relatively inexperienced driver.

In situation 2, I think it was handled perfectly. Right the rig as quickly as possible. If it had been upside down or on it's side for a decent amount of time, then pull the plugs, bump the starter, reinstall, check fluids and try to get the rig started. Once it's started, determine if it's drivable and if so, carefully get the rig off the trail. If it's not drivable, come up with a solution to get it off the trail.

Situation 3 was made more difficult due to the rain. The rig had zero steering, and parts weren't going to be available until Monday at the soonest (it was Saturday afternoon). We had enough willing bodies to help stack rocks to get a truck/trailer into that particular spot so we put opted to give that a shot. It was very slow going due to the wet rocks, sizeable ledges (that required stacking and re-stacking to get truck then trailer up), tight turns, and lots of pausing to let the tranny cool down when it would get uncomfortably hot. We eventually made it out and the owner was able to source the parts on his own and have it repaired Monday.

Consequently, my tranny went out about 2 weeks later. Who knows if that day contributed to it, but it certainly didn't help.

SirFuego
06-15-2010, 02:39 PM
I had an interesting recovery at Rausch Creek last year when an ECU failure caused me to be dead on the trails twice in the same weekend (first time it took out my ASD relay and the second time it overcharged my battery, which in turn fried the ECU).

We were in the middle of winching me up a hill when my rig just shut off and wouldn't start back up. After trying to fix it, we figured it was an electrical issue and I needed to head back to camp anyways to get the service manual so we know where to check voltages.

While there admittedly wasn't any tippy areas, there were a ton of trees we needed to avoid with my friend Kris towing me back. Luckily the access roads at Rausch aren't extremely narrow, but they are still narrow enough to be careful of towing the dead rig into a tree since manual stering and manual brakes suck on a dead rig. Before we started back to camp, we first agreed that Kris would stop immediately if I laid on the horn. This actually happened within the first 10 feet as turning 33s aired down to about 10 with manual steering isn't an easy ordeal.

The major lesson learned is that when towing a dead rig back to camp, take turns as wide as possible for the tow rig and as narrow as possible for the dead rig.

Wheeling two days later with a stock JK on a green trail, my battery was overcharged and started to boil. This time on a much narrower trail on some small rocks. Not having a functional winch made that a pretty interesting recovery, but we just took it slow and eventually got me by the JK pulling my front end.

This sounds obvious, but take your time and don't get frustrated if things don't go your way. I was ready to head home, but needed to load my dead rig on the trailer. I wasn't paying attention to my winch controller when I was loading up my rig on the trailer and ended up driving over the controller cable -- ripping it out of of the socket to where I couldn't get it back in. I was about ready to freak out, then my buddy suggested to use my tie down straps as a winch, which got me out of the predicament.

It might be difficult, but just keep a cool head throughout the whole ordeal and realize that rushing may only make things worse.

ATL ZJ
06-15-2010, 02:48 PM
Scenarios 1 and 3 I would enlist/volunteer as a parts runner to bomb back to civilization and return with parts. But that is just me. I'll let someone else toss out other ideas on those.

A scenario like #2 is more complex than it sounds, especially if the rig was upside down for more than a few minutes. You are up against a few different dangers, all while being distracted by the damage to the rig.

One danger is combustible fluid containment- even after it's mopped up off the trail, how close should we look around under the hood? Brake fluid dripping on headers is a raging fire waiting to happen. Same with P/S fluid, ATF etc. Half of the fluids on our rig double as fire starters.

The second major danger is damage to the engine from oil seeping past the rings while upside down. Normally I will disconnect the ignition (either ignition coil wire or coil pack wires) and give the starter an ever so tiny bump, and LISTEN. If it sounds like a thud rather than like it would turn over freely, chances are that there's oil that will bend a rod or cause other damage if it's allowed to fire. At that point, you need to pull all the plugs on the trail and turn the engine over to blow the oil out of the cylinders...

The question that came up recently was whether bumping the starter briefly with the ignition disconnected could actually cause internal damage in some cases. I have never had it happen but that's not to say it's impossible... Is it a better rule of thumb to ALWAYS pull the plugs?

I would like to hear other people's takes on the best/proper way to clear the cylinders of oil after a rollover.

AgitatedPancake
06-15-2010, 02:54 PM
Hey Ryan, you should add how you finally solved the issue with that steering as well! Knowing the fix's to these problems is key I think.

We've had some pretty interesting fixes in our group, because on average we're wheeling over 100 miles from home, and deep in the forests away from anyone.

So this was an epically shitty trip for me breakage wise. I destroyed the tie rod, drag link, a rear LCA mount and a front brakeline on my WJ. We'll start with the brakes. I had to get that line sealed off so I could limp my WJ the rest of the way out of the trail, and home on 3 brakes. I was sitting under my jeep trying to get a bad pair of vice grips to seal the line at no avail. A guy wheelin by in a wrangler asked what the problem was, then after hearing proceeded to throw me one of these. Was able to sinch the brake line down in a matter of seconds to get it sealed up. Got me out of the trails and 100 miles home without leaking a drop.
CARRY THESE ON THE TRAIL!
http://www.amazon.com/Lisle-22850-Hose-Pincher/dp/B0002NYB78


Second, if your steering is stock/weak/something always in the back of your mind, bring provisions to fix any steering problems you may encounter! When I first installed my D44 I was being cheap and reused the donor jeeps factory steering, 1" solid stock tie rod and drag link. Well that was a BAD idea. This was a trip of steering breakage for me, and this pic shows it.

http://agitatedpancake.com/random/jeep/rubicon/steering.JPG


So there are a couple things going on here. Basically, I was wheeling the rubicon when I hit my tie rod against a rock, and bent it back towards the diff. Once it was bent, any time I tried to steer it would just bend back into the housing instead of turning because it was already the shape of a U. Well it bent to the point where the nut for the drag link on the back of the tie rod was being pushed back into my track bar bracket. The nut would catch the bracket and track bar bolt heat and literally stop my steering, so I had basically nothing. We called it a night so I could commence on the repairs. I spent a couple hours SLAMMING my high lift handle over the tie rod, actually forcing it over a bend too (you can see) heh. We also got some batteries together and welded a peice of angle iron to the back of the tie rod at the drag link to act as a smooth slider surface, so when it bent back again it wouldn't catch the nut and stop my steering, but glide smooth so I could still steer and limp around.

THEN, later on in the trail I bound up my steering pretty good, yanked on the steering wheel and literally snapped my drag link in half. FAWESOME. The drag link in the above picture was actually our trail fix. Luckily for me someone in the group brought a perfect diameter tube. We cut the tie rod ends off the broken drag link peices, cut this new tube to length and battery stick welded it all up! This also held fine for the rest of the trail and the entire drive home.

I'm sure I have more, we'll have to see.

SirFuego
06-15-2010, 02:57 PM
I guess to reference back to the first three scenarios.

Scenario 1 was similar to what I posted, but with the need to avoid trees. If you have a compressor available, I would first air up the tires to at least 20-25 PSI to make the manual steering easier before towing back to camp. It might be safer to winch a rig through the tippy areas instead of towing through it. Like I said before, turns should be taken wide if there are major obstacles that need to be avoided.

Scenario 3 happened to me at an event last year on the first part of difficult trail. Luckily it's "safe" to leave a stranded rig on the trails there (that is actually what they recommend if you break down to where you can't fix it in 15-30 minutes). I didn't have any major valuables on the rig and I figured no one was going to take my rig since it, uh, had no steering. There were bypasses around my rig, so it wasn't blocking anyone else that wanted to run it. My buddy drove me back to camp and I headed into town to get the pump and steering box. We replaced it later that evening and got back just before midnight.

Now of course there are many places where I would refuse to leave my rig unattended around here, so this solution may not work at places like, say, Wellsville, OH.

CrawlerReady
06-15-2010, 09:38 PM
I'm going to weigh in here, especially since I was the trail leader for both Scenario 1 and 2....this maybe be long, but I feel like explaining the entire situation. I know there have been some comments about my age and/or inexperience and if that had anything to do with what happened. I don't have much to say about that other than obviously I'm kicking myself for the decision to tow Pat off. I do feel that I have plenty of experience, as Jeeping is my life and it wasn't my first time leading a trail (although it was for GSW)...but it wouldn't bother me if I wasn't to lead another GSW trail. I wasn't even aware I was going to be leading trails until the first driver's meeting anyways. Onto the store though...

Scenario 1. Definitely a shitty trail to have a fuel pump go out on. Especially when it's 102* and there is absolutely no shade. Pat's ZJ just sputtered and died on our way back down the trail. Probably about 1.5 miles from the parking area.

First thing we all thought was vapor lock due to the intense heat and his engine had been running hot (as was most of ours). We let it cool for ~30 min and tried starting it. Nothing. It was getting spark, and would run on starting fluid, but not enough fuel to keep it running. The next few things that were thought of was the fuel filter, fuel pump, or IAC. Since this was a '98, the fuel filter was located on the pump itself...which we all know is on top of the tank. Not the easiest job to do with 1/2+ tank of gas and being on the trail sloping downhill. Scott had a spare IAC in his rig, and seeing as how it's not hard to swap out, we tried that. No go. Alright so it's been about 2 hours now and it's maybe 4pm or so. It's hot and the banquet starts at 7pm. I believe I was the one that suggested it, but towing him down didn't seem too bad...just a few places that we'd need to be careful (where Darrick rolled was not one that came to mind). I'm pretty nobody objected to the idea.

Darrick suggested that he be the tow vehicle as to put the extra stress on his rig since the dead ZJ was an IRO guy as well. I was good with that since my rear ds or t-case has some issues that I need to address and the extra stress could've caused more problems. I hooked up behind Pat to be the brakes. The way we were doing it is Darrick only hooked up to pull Pat over ledges as needed, and unhooked after. I remained hooked the entire time, just gave Pat slack when he was being pulled up ledges. As Jared said, airing up the tires is a good idea. We did that. Took him up to 25 psi so he could turn easier.
About 10min into towing him, Pat's passenger front tire caught his stainless steel brake line and ripped it. He had a spare, so we replaced that, bled the brakes, and about 30 min later we're on our way again. THIS was probably the time that I should've made the decision to leave the rig and come back with the parts (which we still weren't 100% positive). Trust me, I'm still pissed off I didn't make that call. So we're on our way and get another 10min down the trail and the WJ was towing the ZJ up over a smaller ledge, when his front driver started lifting. A few of us yelled a bit, but I'm not sure if Darrick heard over his engine. A second later his rear driver lifted and he was on two wheels. Literally on two wheels for about 3 seconds, he aimed downhill and gassed it. Well being that he was hooked up to Pat's ZJ (I had about 5ft of slack in my line) it pulled his WJ over. There was really nothing he could do to save it as Pat's rig was pulling him the way he was rolling. I even threw mine in reverse and about gassed it to pull them both backwards, but realized the angle I was at would've just pulled him over faster. This is where Scenario 2 began....

Scenario 2. You guys all have no idea how badly I wish I would've been the tow rig in this situation since I built my ZJ being able to take that and not caring. With how nice and clean Darrick's WJ was...well I'm kicking myself that much more for what happened. Once he rolled and everyone was okay, I decided to right the Jeep. Being that the WJ was facing downhill, I crawled back inside the WJ, put it in park and set the e-brake. I then had Troy hook a strap to the rear of the WJ and back up so it was tight, because when I winched the WJ back over, I didn't want it to break park and go rolling down the hill. Also, in case that were to happen, rather then me winching directly from the side of him, I figured it was best that I winch from an uphill angle.
I righted the WJ, Troy kept the strap tight, and all was well. Now to Cam's question,



The question that came up recently was whether bumping the starter briefly with the ignition disconnected could actually cause internal damage in some cases. I have never had it happen but that's not to say it's impossible... Is it a better rule of thumb to ALWAYS pull the plugs?

I would like to hear other people's takes on the best/proper way to clear the cylinders of oil after a rollover.

personally I will always pull the plugs rather than risk bending a rod. It doesn't take much oil in the cylinders to bend one, so I don't attempt to bump the starter. I pulled plugs mine the weekend before and I only went onto my side for about 15 min. I still shot a little bit of oil out, enough that I felt it would've bent a rod.

So from here I decided to get the remaining four rigs off the trail and run into town to get whatever else was needed. I told Darrick to pull the plugs and then crank the engine to get any fluid out while we were gone. We left them with all our water/gatorade as well as some snacks. I ran into town, grabbed another case of water, ice and Scott also had a spare fuel-pump so I took that too. I headed back to the trail with Josh (both in my rig) and cruised up to Darrick and Pat. I was gone about 1 hour, and in that time they had got the WJ running and added new tranny fluid. Then we spent 3-4 hours dropping the tank on the ZJ and replacing the pump. It started! By now it's getting dark, about 10pm) so we slowly made our way back down the trail. Took about 1.5 hours to get to the bottom.

That's the story that I don't believe had ever been told in full yet. :smt102

Sorry for it being so long, I just got to typing and when I finished it was pretty detailed ha. Again though, I've been kicking myself ever since this happened. I've been with a few rigs that have rolled over on trails, but none on a trail I was leading and not due to a decision I made.

So there's the entire situation we were in, if it makes a difference.

BigDaveZJ
06-15-2010, 09:50 PM
I wouldn't kick yourself Tyler. Given the entire situation, I would have, and still would, make the same call. Diagnosing a problem like that in 102* heat is not enjoyable, and a whole list of medical concerns pop up with that kind of heat and physical exertion.

Colorado 5.9
06-15-2010, 10:27 PM
To ad, before someone asks why I didn't let them have the fuel pump before trying to train Pat's jeep back down is because I didn't have it with me on the trail. I'd forgot & left it in my dad's car.

It's really too bad that Pat's jeep didn't have a pressure relief valve on the fuel rail. They did check the fuel pump by disconnecting the line up in back of the TC & it did pump out gas. I suspect it was vapor locking because it counldn't keep up with what the motor was pulling when running. Just like what my 5.9 did coming home. It was easy to relieve the vapor with the pressure relief valve & start it back up again.

slim616
06-15-2010, 10:51 PM
I think the other day I had to have one of the worst breaks I ever had As for recovery without tearing up any thing.

No upper control arms, NO springs, NO rear drive shaft, and sitting on a hill that is at almost a 45* angle. The only thing holding the body up is the pinion that has rotated straight up.

As for the scenarios you all have its hard for a east coast person to chime in seeing how different the terrain is. Its a major difference in recovery when you add trees and mud.

Colorado 5.9
06-15-2010, 11:07 PM
Dave & I have seen that before. We didn't want to touch it.

ATL ZJ
06-16-2010, 02:41 PM
Now to Cam's question, personally I will always pull the plugs rather than risk bending a rod. It doesn't take much oil in the cylinders to bend one, so I don't attempt to bump the starter. I pulled plugs mine the weekend before and I only went onto my side for about 15 min. I still shot a little bit of oil out, enough that I felt it would've bent a rod.

I was under the impression that as long as you didn't keep turning the engine under the power of the starter, the whole rotating assembly could bounce back if the piston slapped a cylinder full of oil. But I am FAR from being an expert on anything related engines so I will ask again for a definitive answer. Does anybody know for sure if bumping the starter for a 1/4 second could bend a rod?

I like playing things safe, but only when it's really necessary.

zjeepin
06-16-2010, 02:53 PM
[QUOTE=ATL ZJ;286708] Does anybody know for sure if bumping the starter for a 1/4 second could bend a rod?
QUOTE]

im sure it depends on alot of variables... how powerful the starter is, where in the stroke the cylinder in question is (how full of oil the cylinder is) whether the cylinder is on the power stroke or not. strenght of the rod material and design.. you get the picture..

i'd be willing to bet that most starters don't have the balls to break any internals. for the most part gas motors don't have high enough compression to warrant an extremely powerful starter.

my thought is the rule of thumb should be to ALWAYS disable the ignition system before trying to bump the starter.. that was the major mistake in cobbies case.

Cody
06-16-2010, 02:53 PM
I know there have been some comments about my age and/or inexperience and if that had anything to do with what happened. I don't have much to say about that other than obviously I'm kicking myself for the decision to tow Pat off. I do feel that I have plenty of experience, as Jeeping is my life and it wasn't my first time leading a trail (although it was for GSW)...but it wouldn't bother me if I wasn't to lead another GSW trail.

I don't think anyone questions your experience as a trail leader or the decision you made. Like I said, I probably wouldn't have tried to daisy chain the rig down, but I don't think it was a bad decision. Had that weird situation that caused the rollover not occurred, nobody would have questioned it for a second.

JohnBoulderCO
06-16-2010, 03:15 PM
I don't think anyone questions your experience as a trail leader or the decision you made.
I completely agree. I didn't hear any comments regarding that. You have tons of trail experience and on the hard Moab trails where it counts for GSW.

Sporer65
06-16-2010, 03:30 PM
I got a situation.

Wheeling with a guy with a H3. Doesn't break one of the tie rods but bends the rod that connects it to the steering rack on the passenger side. He does this while going up a hill. He needs to take the tire off to replace it but we are all uncomfortable trying to do it in the spot he was in. So, we tow him up the hill to a flatter spot. Well, the whole time we were pulling him up, his passenger side tire was turned in and we couldn't straighten it. Soon after he was having steering problems and leaking fluid. Not sure what all had to be fixed but the rack was messed up.

So, now my question, if you have an IFS vehicle with messed up steering, how can you get them off the trail without messing anything else up?

ATL ZJ
06-16-2010, 03:40 PM
I believe in a theory I call the Law of Compounding Carnage and a lot of these situations fall into it. Over the years I've noticed that if something is broken, the likelihood of additional failures occurring is higher if the original problem goes uncorrected than if it were fixed immediately.

Ultimately it's the driver's call, but usually I'd recommend fixing the rig where it is (unless it's something minor) after getting the rig to the side of the trail so others can pass through.

rstrucks
06-17-2010, 10:41 AM
I believe in a theory I call the Law of Compounding Carnage and a lot of these situations fall into it. Over the years I've noticed that if something is broken, the likelihood of additional failures occurring is higher if the original problem goes uncorrected than if it were fixed immediately.


Yes, the Law of Compunding Carnage. Never had a name for it but man you got it right!

rstrucks
06-17-2010, 10:44 AM
I got a situation.

Wheeling with a guy with a H3. Doesn't break one of the tie rods but bends the rod that connects it to the steering rack on the passenger side. He does this while going up a hill. He needs to take the tire off to replace it but we are all uncomfortable trying to do it in the spot he was in. So, we tow him up the hill to a flatter spot. Well, the whole time we were pulling him up, his passenger side tire was turned in and we couldn't straighten it. Soon after he was having steering problems and leaking fluid. Not sure what all had to be fixed but the rack was messed up.

So, now my question, if you have an IFS vehicle with messed up steering, how can you get them off the trail without messing anything else up?


It sounds like the damage was done when the tie rod was bent. If there was enough force on the tie rod to bend it, then I'd bet that enough force was passed along to the rack to do damage.